|Yep. It's Indy and his famous fear of snakes|
- Developer: Lucasfilm
- Publisher: Lucasfilm
- Release Date: June 1992 (original release)
- Time played: 12 hours
What is itLucasfilm was founded in 1982 by George Lucas, you know, the guy that created a little franchise called "Star Wars" as well as what would become another little franchise called "Indiana Jones" with the release of the film "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1981. During the early 80s, Lucasfilm collaborated with Atari on the development of new games and it wasn't until 1987 that they released the first game that was both developed and published by Lucasfilm: this game was called Maniac Mansion and would become a classic in the point 'n' click adventure genre.
In 1990, Lucasfilm was renamed to Lucasarts and both the Lucasfilm and Lucasarts names became synonymous with critically acclaimed adventure and simulation games in the late 1980s and 1990s; classics such as The Secret of Monkey Island, LOOM, X-Wing, Day of the Tentacle; the list goes on and on. One such game that is often considered a classic is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis but strangely enough, it's also one of those Lucasarts adventures I never got around to playing.
Technically, I probably should've played Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade first since that's the first of the Indy point 'n' click adventures but Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is of the same generation as other Lucasarts point 'n' click adventures that I used to play and Choicest Games contributor Luke suggested I give it a shot as part of my "Pile of Shame" initiative.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis started development in 1990 and took two years to complete with six extra months of that development time being spent working on dialogue for the three different paths you can take to complete the game. The game was a critical and commercial success, often achieving scores of 80% and 90% in gaming magazines of the day and selling one million copies across all platforms.
How I got itI actually own a copy of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis on both Steam and GOG; both of them were purchased in 2015. My Steam copy of the game was purchased in March of 2015 and came included as part of the Lucasarts Adventure Pack which also included LOOM, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Dig (LOOM is the only game in the pack I actually played back in the 1990s). Later that same year, I bought a whole bunch of Lucasarts games during a GOG sale and this is when I purchased my GOG copy of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. I love point 'n' click adventures, especially Lucasarts ones so there wasn't much hesitation when I purchased these games as many of them formed part of my childhood (ah, that's nostalgia for you).
|Like any good Indy adventure, you get to visit many exotic locations|
What I like:
References to the filmsThere are a lot of inside jokes and references for fans of the films such as Indy's fear of snakes, the origin of his name, the music etc. Even the way the plot unfolds is reminiscent of the films.
Different approachesWhile I was playing the game, there were moments where you had a choice of either bringing Sophia along or going alone. There were also instances where it appeared you could use violence or intelligence in order to overcome obstacles. It seemed like there were multiple ways to approach puzzles which is unheard of in what were usually linear point 'n' click adventures of the 80s and 90s. After completing the game, I was able to confirm that there are in fact three ways to complete Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis: The Wits Path (where Indy goes alone, solving harder puzzles with minimal fighting), the Fists Path (where Indy goes alone, solving easier puzzles with more fighting) and the Team Path (where Indy and Sophia work as a team to solve puzzles).
SophiaAs I took the Team Path, I was accompanied by Sophia for most of the game. Sophia acts as a walking hints guide often reminding you what your current goal is, which I'm really grateful for; returning to 90s point 'n' click adventures after playing adventure games with hardly any puzzle solving whatsoever (*cough* Telltale *cough*) can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.
Broken up into stagesWhen it comes to adventure game design, generally having more rooms increases the difficulty since it usually means more objects to interact with; this isn't the case for the earlier parts of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis which I'm again thankful for, since it means the game is easier than other point 'n' click adventures of its era – at least until you make it to the end game.
|Who says you can't die in a Lucasarts adventure?|
What I dislike:
Voice actingExcept for Sophia's voice actor (Jane Jacobs who incidentally also voices Laverne in Day of the Tentacle), most of it is rather laughable and hammy. It's also a pity they didn't manage to have Harrison Ford reprise his role but apparently, he was unavailable at the time.
I had to use hintsFor point 'n' click adventure game veterans one of the biggest sins is using hints, or worse, a walkthrough to complete a game! Despite Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis not being too difficult in terms of its puzzles, I still managed to rely on hints twice while I was playing the game: one time I was actually on the right track but since I didn't realise that a particular inventory item could be used as the solution to two puzzles, it never occurred to me to retrieve it and try using it again later on. The other time I used a hint was because I didn't make a connection that was quite an easy one in retrospect.
Consequently, most puzzles in the game are quite logical and if you're a point 'n' click adventure veteran you should be able to figure out the puzzles most of the time, although those new to the genre might find Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis a bit too challenging.
You can dieTo be honest, I'm used to dying in adventure games (I did grow up playing Sierra adventures games after all), however I wasn't expecting to die in a Lucasarts adventure game, at least in one released during the 1990s. Thankfully, the points that you die in the game are infrequent and it's usually pretty obvious that death will be the outcome.
Emulators matterIt seems like the Steam version and the GOG version differ in terms of which emulator they use: Steam's version seems to use whatever in-house emulator Lucasarts bundled with the game while GOG's version uses ScummVM. I think they've tweaked the two versions differently too: Steam's version of the game has turned on anti-aliasing (while GOG's hasn't) and the MIDI soundtrack sounds different on Steam's when compared to GOG's. Personally, I prefer GOG's version over Steam's but obviously everybody has different tastes so be sure to check out the differences before you buy.
Score – 8/10 (Recommended)I don't know why it took me so long to get around to playing Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis but I'm glad I finally did. I've now experienced another great point 'n' click adventure developed by Lucasarts during the 1990s, one that happens to be a computer game based on a film franchise that doesn't suck and one that actually stood out from the rest of the adventure game crowd by offering multiple paths to victory. The game's music, voice acting, graphics and puzzles may be a bit dated for a modern audience unfamiliar to the genre but I still urge you to give it a go, especially if you're curious about 1990s adventure gaming or games based on the Indiana Jones franchise. If you're a point 'n' click adventure game veteran, you've probably already played it. However, if like me you never got around to trying out the game, do yourself a favour and play it now.
Is the game worth $7.69 AUD?: Yes. This game deserves to be remembered as one of the great adventure games developed by Lucasarts during the 1990s along with The Secret of Monkey Island, LOOM and Day of the Tentacle so to be able to get it under 8 bucks is reasonable.
If you like this game, you might like…
- Indiana Jones films (1981 - 2008)
- The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (2009)
- Day of the Tentacle Remastered (2016)
[ LINK: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis on GOG ]
[ LINK: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis on Steam ]